I bought a dance game

I bought a dance game. I’ve played “Dance Dance Revolution” for the better part of two decades (wow, that was intense to type), so the thought of owning a machine has loomed large in my head since I bought my house in 2008. I was under the assumption that a dance game simply would not fit in my house, because doors are not wide enough. Turns out that the standard interior door is 29.5-30”, which is not wide enough. The back door to my basement, however, its 34”, which is well wide enough, so the search began.

There are several versions of a DDR machine, the Japanese version being the “one you want”. These machines can be had from $600 to $2000, and while the market dictates, usually $1200 is a good price. There are some parties that import machines directly from japan with the latest-and-greatest hardware, usually for $3000-4000. I was set to buy one of those in February, but Ganon got sick, and pretty well drained the DDR machine fund (and a couple others too). if I can’t have the one i *want*, I figured, I’ll get one for a steal. 

After searching for several months, it became clear that the market was not supporting my vision for an adequate price. Its worth mentioning at this point that another game exists, called “Pump it Up”. I’ve never been a huge fan of this game, but it is actively developed, and I’ve played it a lot in the last year at Save Point in Westminster, MD. The new versions, infinity and prime, are really excellent. Its amazing how a game so similar can feel miles apart in style. 

At any rate, several arcade liquidation auctions came and went, with no real results (besides people paying way, way, WAY too much for 10-15 year old arcade games). I’d resigned myself to wait even longer, thinking about even going into the “new machine” territory, the $3k-4k range, again. I was working a catering gig on October 10, 2015, and I got a text from a friend that said “Pump GXv2 with an mk6 in richmond for cheap!!!! WE’RE GETTING IT TOMORROW”

(There are several versions of DDR machines, and there are even more versions of PIU machines. There are 3 “computers” used for DDR games and there are 4 “computers” used for pump games. GXv2 is nice, because it has a 34” flat screen CRT display, which is gigantic, and the mk6 is capable of running a lot of cool stuff, including the newest versions of the software).

I got off of work at 1 AM in Glen Burnie, MD. I was able to take home a bunch of food from this event, which was awesome. I go in the car and got home around 1:30, or so, put all the food away, and took a shower, and around 2:30, i sat down to “sleep” a bit. Took about a 20-30 minute nap, and jumped back in the car to go to Richmond.

Of course the tunnel was closed. Great. 

So I get to the DC beltway, and I’m meeting Eric, who has the truck. He’s driving from Westminster, MD, so coming down 270, and I think “sure, no problem, we’ll hit a park and ride and go from there.” But funny thing about DC: there are none. So I drove down 495, and finally kicked over to a 7-11 in Annandale and camped out. After he met me there, we traveled to the Wal-Mart in Fairfax, and I jumped in the truck, and away we went. 

I have been struggling with some neck problems, so it should be noted that, if you intend to move a dance game, try not to go into it with neck problems.

Several hours later (through Fredericksburg, through Richmond, and onward, into Colonial Heights), we arrived at a Sheetz. I thought this was just to meet up with Eric’s friend, who turned out to be a guy that I well SHOULD have known, and have probably been in the same room with, multiple times, by now. So, we refuel and pick up Spencer, and we drive to the Southpark Mall, which is about a quarter mile away from the Sheetz (there was a plan, even though i didn’t know there was a plan), and we head into “Fun Depot”. This mall, y’all, is literally moments away from a Burlington Coat Factory. Granted, we were there on a Sunday morning, but the place was DEAD. Not even mall walkers!

So this place is a full-on arcade, redemption and everything, but, as malls are doing, its apparent that the real estate rates are plummeting, because this guy has a HUGE amount of storage there. Anyhow, there sits my machine, neglected.


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We played a quick game on it, and Eric told me it was in bad shape. My side was fine, I think he might have been negging but who knows. Eric is distracted by a shiny thing (two Virtual-On machines for sale) and I’m left to make this decision. It hits me, all of a sudden, that I’m about to spend a lot of money on something that is really, really stupid in the long run. But I like it. And its cheap ($650). Some great quotes from the previous owner, Alex, include “This is the most money this thing has made. Probably more than its made in the last 5 years” and “They don’t even play one song. They put a token in, start a song, and walk away.” So I buy it. 

We load it in the truck, which, let me tell you, is horrendous. Here is me and Spencer mean mugging.


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You may have noticed that the truck is a military humvee. It is. 

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I was nearly late to my wife’s birthday dinner because of a dance game. We got back to Fairfax to get my car around 3:15, and it became evident that we’d never make it to Baltimore and get this thing unloaded. Eric suggested that he come to my house on Monday to take care of this thing, and so away he went… With my dear dance game in the back of his truck. 

Laura’s birthday dinner is at Kobe in White Marsh, so I struggle through dinner (still no sleep, if you recall from way up there), and its pretty good, to be honest. I haven’t been to a hibachi style restaurant in some time. We got home and I absolutely crashed. Sleep is so wonderful when you’re missing it that badly!

Fast forward to the next day, and my neck is killing me, but Eric says he’ll be here tonight, (Monday, October 12, 2015) at 4PM. He shows up at 6:30, and decides, as if it was nothing, we’re going to take the monitor out because reasons.

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The monitor removed, the computer removed, the amp removed, the pads detached, we THEN carry the machine down my steps. It wasn’t that bad, just awkward. Heavy and awkward. Nick, Steph, Eric and I got this goddamned thing into my house. So it’s here. Its missing a lot, it is in desperate need of a cleaning. But its playable!

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